BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Hundreds of people commemorated lost loved ones at a local Dia De Los Muertos event at the Greenlawn Funeral Home on Panama Lane in Southwest Bakersfield.
The event highlighted the city’s strong Mexican and Spanish roots.
Candy, music, and children’s laughter filled the cemetery. Graves were cleaned, families decorated them with photos and memorabilia of their loved ones. It was a true Dia De Los Muertos celebration for the Bakersfield community.
“It’s a perfect event for families and young people to come to connect to their tradition, back at home,” Jose Sandoval the family service counselor for Greenlawn Funeral Home Southwest said.
We asked parents why this day is a special occasion to commemorate children who have passed away.
“It’s a traditional Mexican thing for day of the dead,” Adriana Santos a mother said. “So my daughter passed away this year and she’s buried here and we came out to celebrate her here. We just set up the altar and put the traditional flowers and traditional Mexican stuff.”
“It’s a celebration of life. It’s a celebration of my son, Jose Ruiz,” Raquel Urias another mother said. “Some of the things you see are some of his items. He loved to have parties, drinking of course, and just regular 25-year-old things that they like.”
While families celebrated their loved ones, kids were still able to have some Halloween fun by dressing up and getting candy throughout the day.
“I’m very happy to see all these young kids that are getting soaked into the culture of Dia De Los Muertos and Halloween of course,” Sandoval said. “This is something that I really love it. Just seeing everyone out here it just makes you see how great our community is out here.”
The Jimenez’s altar as well as the other altars at the cemetery will be entered into a competition where the top three will win prizes. The winners will be announced at the end of the event.